Friday, 21 December 2012


Farewell to the craziness that packing up a house brings and, while we may not have our furniture delivered until Monday*, we will be setting up the Christmas tree as soon as we gain possession of our new home!
Until then, we are staying with my parents for longer than expected, enjoying some quality grandparent time before we head south tomorrow. 
And it's not only the kids who are being spoilt with our stay here - I get to squeeze in some sneaky knitting on my Mara shawl before the unpacking begins. Hee hee!
Merry Christmas!!!
Sam xx
* Hooray to the movers who are bringing our furniture to us on Christmas Eve!!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

'Typically Red' at Christmas

Certificates of Currency, Electrical Safety Certificates, packing boxes, butchers paper, packing tape, Orders and Requisitions......
and amongst all this......I had a little win.

This morning I received some very good news. Christina, of Christina Lowry Designs, has been running a "12 Days of Christmas Giveaway" to showcase Australian artisans and their hand made artworks. Day 12 focused on the knitted bonnets by Greer of Typically Red (blog and shop) -  gorgeous, adorable pieces!

Bumpy Bonnet, Watermelon, Toddler Size. Handmade, Vintage-Inspired Woollen Hat
Bumpy Bonnet, Watermelon, Toddler Size. Handmade, Vintage-Inspired Woollen Hat
by Typically Red

And I managed to win! Hooray!!
So, thank you so much, Christina and Greer. What a great idea, to share all these clever people with us. I've been having a lovely time checking out their websites, blogs and shops, and am already looking forward to next year!

Sam xx


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Mara Shawl #2

A couple of days ago, I finally finished this, my 'started first / finished second' Mara shawl. It's for Jacquie, my Mother-in-law, who a couple of weeks ago moved to the town on the South Coast that we ourselves are moving down to in a couple of weeks.*
Once again, I have used yarn frogged from an earlier project - Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Paper Rose colour way. This Mara version follows the pattern, using yarnover increases, until the cast off - I tried out “Jenny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off” for the first time, but I think it has left the fringe almost too loose. The Mara pattern’s instructions for binding off are my preferred technique.
And, while the yarn is wonderfully soft and is beautifully light weight, it isn't very strong; I wouldn't use it to sew seams if I had made a garment from it - I would use something strong and sturdy.
Once again, "Yay" for the Mara Shawl pattern from (but available on! I have already begun another one, but this time for myself!!
But I am having fun....., even if I'm not packing as many boxes as I should!!
Sharing with Creative Spaces here.
Sam xx
*A couple of weeks? Aahhh!!!!

Sunday, 2 December 2012


True to form, our nectarines are ready in this, the first week of December; gorgeous, juicy, delicious, richly luscious nectarines - my favourite fruit of Summer, by far!
Yummy yum yum!

Maybe it's time to make some nectarine jam, too?
What's your favourite summer fruit?
Do you grow your own?
Sam xx

Friday, 30 November 2012

First Crush

A couple of months ago, Miss M told me she was going to marry Alec from her class.
"Oh? What is it about Alec that you like so much?"
"He has cool hair."
Oh. Well, she is only 6 years old. Seems a good enough reason to me!
And I thought nothing much more about it........until she started sobbing last night.
"Darling! What's wrong?"
"Alec isn't just on holiday. He's moved away. To a country on the other side of the world! I didn't even get to say goodbye! And I'll never see him again!!!" And she continued to sob; an hour of inconsolable sobbing!
What?? She's only six! Is the world really going to end?? And did I ever feel like that with my first crushes??
The funny thing is, I can't remember most of them - I actually came across an old journal of mine while packing and I scanned through it, only to discover my lamentations over a boy whom I can no longer remember. Who was this boy? My grand passion sobbed out on to the page, unrequited love - like most of my crushes.
And isn't that what a crush is? Unrequited?? In Miss M's case, not so, it seems - Mr Alec had told her he wanted to marry her, too.
Some detective work (a gossip with the class teacher) uncovered the details of Alec's departure - his family have moved to a country town - not unlike what we are about to do, only in the opposite direction. Even so, this seemed to placate my eldest's concerns - Alec's living in WA. It's okay. He's not so far away. Maybe she might see him again?
And off she trotted, to giggle with her friends.
Her first crush - she may not remember when she grows up, but I will!
Do you remember your first crush?
Have a great weekend!
Sam xx
Photo of National Geographic Magazine, February 2006 - something else I found while packing!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Knitting again

...and working on a new Mara Shawl, this time in a Charcoal Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Classic.

Slowly, slowly......

Creatively Clever people over here.

Sam xx


Making relish for Christmas presents - a surprisingly calming activity when negotiating the mechanics of bank finance approvals and purchase contract deadlines!
Sam xx

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

By the way.....

.....we had our offer on that house accepted.


I guess we will be filling it with lots of love and happy times!!


Liverpool Tunic

Hmmmm. My muslin Liverpool tunic is looking suspiciously like a school uniform. Or like one of the old Qantas hostie uniforms without the style and panache of the originals!
Not quite the result I was looking for, but more the fault of the fabric I chose than the design itself. In fact, I'm loving the pattern! Just not loving the fabric quite as much as I obviously did when I bought it earlier this year. I reckon the Liverpool tunic is most successful when teamed with a fabric with a large scale design.
This version has the short sleeve intended for the hot weather but I think the elbow or 3/4 lengths would be more flattering for me next time. I have secured the ties in front for display but they are actually intended to be tied at the back.
And, funnily enough, it also helps if you follow the detailed instructions! I kept second guessing them a couple of times only to find out that each time I was WRONG!!
And so, after having a little break from this garment with just the cuffs, buttons, buttonholes and hem to finish, I shall continue on. I haven't made a shirt for about 15 years so it has been fun constructing this one. And I want to finish it. I need something new to wear!
At least, until I make another......
And I am still having fun sewing and not packing boxes.
Sam xx

Friday, 16 November 2012


.....because sewing is much more fun than packing boxes!
Sam xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


We did some serious house hunting on the weekend and, after an extremely dissatisfying and exhausting Saturday, we went to see one on Sunday morning with my sister-in-law's family.
It was perfectly situated and looked really promising. As we approached the house, we saw the owners and their boys driving away. My 10 year old nephew M, who was sitting in the front of his family's car, recognised one of the boys - he was in his class.
Did M like him? Was he a nice boy? No, not at all!
Still, G and I liked the house. M wasn't so sure - he was visibly rattled as he walked through it, but I assured him that we would put some positive energy and love into the house if we bought it. We put an offer in straight away.
But now, after lots of game playing, feet dragging and poor form shenanigans from the owners, I reckon that M's instincts are spot on!
It's not the house's fault, but I do believe that we will be continuing our search for a new home this weekend. And not dealing with that awful agent again, either!!!
Sam xx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Schoolhouse Tunic #3

I can't knit for a while, so I'm sewing instead!

Schoolhouse tunic #3 in a grey linen bought from Spotlight earlier this year.

Gotta love a good pattern, but I will be trying the Liberty shirt by Amy Butler next.

Sam xx

Friday, 2 November 2012

Did you know?

Our home studio

Did you know that intensive house cleaning in preparation for selling a house can result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

I do, now!!

Sam xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

"Houses do not clean themselves"

“Houses do not clean themselves.”*
No, they do not!
Normally, a superficial wipe of surfaces and irregular vacuuming and mopping would be sufficient to keep our house in a comfortable (for us) state of ‘cleanliness’. But recently, following our decision to put our home up for sale, it has become patently clear that my interpretation of ‘clean’ does not fit the lifestyle and home living magazine ideal. Nor does it meet the expectations of a potential house buying public, and that’s why I have spent the last 6 weeks cleaning, decluttering and tidying our house, making up for the past 8 years of ‘near enough is good enough’.
Yesterday my interior designer sister arrived in a whirlwind to put into action the house dressing and styling plan we had drawn up a few weeks ago so that the house could be photographed ready for market. She took the items that we own, threw in a few extra pieces, rearranged everything and presented us with a home worthy of one of those magazines I mentioned earlier.
And the results?
Absolutely Amazing! My home is beautiful! Why did I wait 8 years for this?? (A rhetorical question, of course!)
My sister,, is Brilliant At Her Job!!
Sam xx




Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The things we do!

Guess who made cupcakes late last night for Miss M to take to her no-egg school, only to realise this morning that they had eggs in them?

And guess what I ended up doing first thing this morning??

The things we do!

Sam xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Miss E's beloved Perth Royal Show purchase, more coveted than the Barbie Showbag,
the perfect hat for windy occasions......
the 'Spinny Hat"!
Sam xx

Friday, 5 October 2012

Mara Shawl

Ta dah!
This is actually the second Mara Shawl that I started - the first has been waiting patiently in the knitting basket while I finished off this one.
Pattern::   Mara Shawl
Yarn::      Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed
Colour::   Posie (It's been sitting in my cupboard for 10 years, waiting...waiting...)
Needles::  5mm
Yardage::  approximately 900m
I love love love knitting this pattern!
I did make two changes to the original pattern, though. First, I knitted it in stocking stitch as I am not a garter stitch lover. Second, for the increases at the centre spine, I chose not to YO but instead used M1R and M1L as suggested in knitloon's project notes.
Now I love love love this shawl!!
The only problem is, it is going to a new home tomorrow. As a gift. To a beautiful buddie who certainly deserves it.
And that is why I have already ordered some more wool so I can make one for myself. Yay!! A new project!!!
What are your working on today?
Sam xx

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Owl and Pussycat

But the bathroom's not :(
Getting closer, though.
Sam xx

Friday, 28 September 2012

Squirrels in the Sky

We have been talking with Miss M about what happens when people pass away.

"Does that mean that Uncle Lindsay is a star in the sky just like my Great Grandpa Squirrel?" she asked.


"Oh, my darling. You mean Great Grandpa Cyril!!"

Sam xx

Thursday, 27 September 2012

On my desk

Some more Name Paintings
- and a new version of "Owl and Pussycat" in the back.
Vale my Uncle Lindsay
Sam xx

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


The plumber was due to install the bath.

And then the phone rang.

"I've got good news and bad news," said the expected plumber. "Good for me but not so good for you."

Oh, yes. What is the problem?

"I'm in the car and on the way to the hospital with my wife - our baby is coming early! Sorry, but I won't get there for another three days."

So, not so much 'expected' but 'expectant'!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Knitted Birthday Presents Part 2

'Little Doggie' - Miss E's choice for a birthday present.
It, too, hasn't left her side since she opened it!
Pattern from here.
I just made the ears a little shorter than recommended, and gave him a smile!
Sam xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Knitted Birthday Presents Part 1

One week before their birthday I asked the twins what they wanted.
Miss J's request was for a little rabbit with a little yellow bow tie.
So I made it a dress instead!
The rabbit is a mash-up of a few patterns:
"Bunny Egg Cosy" from the very talented Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits
Adjusted "Hartley" pattern for the body and legs from Jean Greenhowe's Jemima Jane and Friends
"Lati pattern" for the rabbit's dress
All knitted on 2.75mm needles.
The rabbit knitted in 5ply Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino,
The dress knitted in a yellow 4ply I have had floating around for years! 
I am happy to say that this little rabbit hasn't yet left Miss J's side!
Sam xx

Monday, 17 September 2012

I'm back!

Fourth birthday cupcakes for the twins.

They were only babies yesterday!
And I am very glad to be back!
Sam xx

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Motherly Matyrdoms

I took my beloved and full-of-flu G to the doctor today, and then muscled in on his appointment to have my own chest checked out - surely, the stabbing pain/agony I've been getting when coughing and moving around is muscular, right?
I was so relieved to hear the doctor's diagnosis I started crying - bronchitis, chest infection and pleurisy! Wow! There's a reason I have been feeling so crappy. I now have permission to feel as lousy as I have been feeling! And I don't have to feel guilty about not doing everything that needs to be done!!
Another case of the Motherly Matyrdoms diagnosed and treated.
And now I'm back off to bed.
Sam xx

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Knitting Needle Neediness

I've hit a snag in my Mara shawl.
My circular needle is not long enough to hold all the stitches, now that I am at the increasing row for the edge.
The lady at the local habby shop hasn't a needle long enough, and I have little chance of heading down the hill to the 'Big Shops' given that I am housebound with a flu-ridden family, G included - not that I'm much healthier that they are, only that my flu is on the mend, whereas theirs is not. And I do mean 'flu'. This virus was not a cold!
I've needed my knitting in the last week, its soothing repetition. I'm enjoying the Mara shawl pattern 'mindlessness' when I've been too weak to do anything else, or when stuck on the couch with sick kids. Pick it up, put it down, knitting when needed.
And now I am needed for more 'kid on the couch' cuddles. I might have to start another Mara just to keep me soothed.
Hmmm. Now there's an idea!
Sam xx
(cough, splutter... )

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Strawberry Jam!

One of the (few) bonuses of G's job is that he drives through strawberry growing country every now and again, and yesterday he came home with 2 1/2 kilos of strawberries - for only $10!

Right, then. Strawberry jam it is - a little bit of the promise of spring, using Sally Wise's recipe from her book, A Year in a Bottle.

I love making jam. When I first made it, Miss M was just a wee babe, and I would make the jam at night so her needs would not be interrupted, and neither would my jam making! Five years on and I'm glad it is easier, but I am still intrigued by the whole process.
And now I'm off to cuddle the twins who are today's coughing and spluttering Kids on the Couch. 
I hope you are having a lovely day!!
Sam xx

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

I love a project!

This is our bathroom. Isn't it beeeeauuutiful??? Rather green and very 1970's, isn't it? And the toilet in the next room? It's green too, a perfect match!

Awww. I'll miss it all when it's gone.

We are finally in the process of renovating it, the toilet and the laundry. Hooray!! This has only taken me 8 and 1/2 years to organise; 8 and 1/2 years since we bought this house. I always planned to do these rooms up. I just didn't think it would take me quite this long, though.

Now, that's "A Project"!!!

Sam xx

Friday, 17 August 2012

New Knitting Project

It’s time! I have had seriously itchy fingers since finishing the scarf I made for my Mother!
Hmmm. What to do? What to make?? Sure, I am in a house cleaning “CDT”* phase right now, but I certainly don’t want to clean in my downtime. I need a project, a creative project, and I need one now - a semi-mindless, able-to-knit-while-watching-television project. Nothing too boring, but something that is fun and different from the things I have knitted before.
And this is where comes in – again! Hooray!!
Oh, I do like ravelry! I have to admit that I find the pattern search on ravelry to be! I keep saying to myself, “just one more page...”, "just five more minutes”... and then find myself still searching 20 minutes or so later...sometimes an hour later!
And so, after much thought, pattern searching and changes in project ideas, I have settled on the Mara shawl. This is because I have a lot of wool I have frogged** from older pieces, wool that deserves a new ‘home’, wool that is too good to give away. Wool that I just don’t like the colour of anymore but think would make a great present for just the right person.
And the right person in this case is my Mother-in-Law. Don’t worry. She doesn’t read my blog but, then, please don’t blurt it out to her, just in case. I have Misses J and E who will do that for me If I need them to!
So here it is, my new project beginnings, 'artfully' arranged on the back table to try and get some light on this grey, cold day.

Pattern:: Mara
Wool:: Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed DK
Colour:: Paper Rose

I am making one change to the pattern, though - I am knitting it in stocking stitch whereas the pattern calls for garter stitch. I'm just not much of a garter stitch girl, it seems!

What new projects are you working on?
And finally, here is one of my tips to encourage creativity as I missed adding it to the My Creative Space site last week:-
When I have finished a project, and in preparation for beginning a new one, I always like to clean and organise my work table; I start afresh in a freshly tidied space. For me, it works a treat!

Have a great weekend!
Sam xx

*CDT – cleaning, decluttering, tidying
**'frogging’ – don’t you just love that term? It means to unravel from an old knitted piece in order to reuse and recycle the wool i.e. rip it, rip it, rip it......

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Spring Cleaning

Why is it that the tiniest whiff of spring can triggers a frenzy of house cleaning?
Normally a visit from my parents is enough to motivate me into tidying up the house. And it seems that I’m not the only one - my very good buddy spent yesterday cleaning out her pantry due to the imminent arrival of her Mother-in-law from interstate!
For me, however, the unseasonally warm weather we have been experiencing has been enough! Even my beloved G has been bitten by the cleaning bug, deciding that a serious case of the “CDT’s” (Cleaning, De-cluttering, Tidying) of our home is in order. We are also attacking other unfinished jobs – filling holes in walls, patching, sanding, nailing, plugging, scraping, and most of all, painting.
Yesterday, a child free day, saw me painting the window frame in our bedroom. We sanded and prepared it over the weekend and I’ll do the final coat of paint on Wednesday. After that it’s on to the next room. Curtains to wash, wardrobe doors to fix...... it is all very satisfying!
And now another questions pops up – How is it that our CDT list keeps growing??? And even more perplexing - Will it ever end?
But I actually know the answer to that one!

Has the Spring Cleaning Bug bitten you yet?

Sam xx

Saturday, 11 August 2012

New Season Blossom

This week saw the bud burst of our first nectarine blossoms for the season - I'm surprised we have so many, given that G and I 'pruned' so much of the tree a few weeks ago!

Now, if only I can control the fruit fly enough this year so I can get fruit I can actually eat!

Sam xx

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Colour Mixing for Kids

I love this! And funnily enough, so did the twins - colour mixing disguised as biscuit decorating. Brilliant fun!

Idea 'seed' from here.

Sam xx

Monday, 6 August 2012

Family Bushwalk

G and I first met when we were on a bushwalk organised by the Perth Bushwalkers' Association. So it would seem logical that we would have done quite a lot of bushwalking together.

Except we haven't.

So yesterday, Sunday, we took the whole family for a bushwalk - not too far from home - just five minutes away.

And away we went - away from the endless jobs, the football on telly, the washing, the folding, the messy playroom, the distractions.

And it was beautiful!

What did you and your family do this weekend?

Sam xx

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Beautiful Bookshelf

We are finally sorting out the twins' bedroom - up until now they haven't had a bookshelf and we haven't had the money to buy one!

So, let's make do! I have a beast of a bookshelf that has been lurking about my studio for 10 years or so. That will be perfect after some love and tender care!

A trip to the hardware shop with some very excited little girls, and piles of paint sample cards later, they chose their colour... with some gentle nudging in a certain colour direction.

And here we are - Ta-dah!

Paint:: Wattyl Satin Interior
Colour:: Boysenberry Cream (I think!)

Soooooo much better than a pile of books propped up in the corner, for sure!!!

Have you revamped any furniture lately?

Sam xx

Thursday, 2 August 2012

My Creative Space - Potager Scarf Ta-dah!

potager scarf

The finished Potager Scarf - Hooray!!

Yarn:: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply
Colour:: Ghost
Needle size:: 3.5mm
Metres used:: 625m

Happy Birthday, Mum!!

Although I prefer a knitting project that I can work on while mindlessly watching telly, I enjoyed knitting this piece. True to the designer's word, it knitted up quickly.

This is also the first time I have knitted with BWM yarns. I will definitely do so again, even though I find their colour range a bit restrictive.

Check out more Creative Spaces here.

Sam xx

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Blocking - Knitting

My latest knitting project, finished and blocked.

Blocking - a necessity for a piece of lace knitting, otherwise you can't see the pattern and stitches in all their glory!

Now I just need to gift wrap it....

Sam xx

Monday, 30 July 2012

10 Things - Birthday Parties!

We went to two parties this weekend, both parties for 4-year-old girls. One was an indoors party. The other wasn't. One was themed - a 'pat a rabbit' party. The other wasn't. Both were held on large blocks; 'rabbits' on 5 acres, the other on 2.5 acres.

With these experiences fresh in my mind, here is my list of....

10 Things I learnt this weekend about Birthday parties!
  1. A themed and highly organised party of children's activities is not necessarily a better way;
  2. A themed party can end up with the Birthday child being inundated with themed presents - rabbit necklace, rabbit shirt, rabbit slippers.....!
  3. Two parties in one weekend is definitely enough!
  4. You can't have too many healthy party foods (dare I say 'rabbit food'?) and can have too much cake;
  5. Four pony rides does not decrease a child's interest in horses;
  6. An indoor party when the house is on 5 acres is perhaps not the best use of space;
  7. Some fancy dress rabbit suits for adults have a tendency to look decidedly demonic;
  8. A grown man in a rabbit suit is not cute in the eyes of hysterical four-year-olds;
  9. A very effective way to clear a room is to put a grown man in a rabbit suit!
  10. I am allergic to rabbits!

What is your idea of the best birthday party for kids?

Sam xx

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Party Food + Hidden Vegies!!

It is birthday party season in these here parts, and when a tray of food is requested or required to assist the party hostess, I always make these - Pizza Rolls.

I love them! They meet all my essential kids' party food requirements:

- they are easy to prepare beforehand, freeze, and then reheat
- you are always left with an empty plate (adults like them too!)
- they are low in fat (provided you use reduced fat ingredients, of course!)

and, best of all in my mind,

they contain Hidden Vegies!!!

In the 5 years I have been making these I haven't been following a recipe but an idea a friend gave me. These amounts of ingredients are what work for me - by experimenting with amounts and different fillings, you can adapt this to work for you too. One piece of advice about the cheese, though - don't put in too much or it just melts out of the roll and onto your baking sheet or oven floor! Trust me!! 

Pizza Rolls

makes 24 rolls

3 sheets reduced fat puff pastry
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup tomato sauce/ketchup*
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
1 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
2/3 cup grated mushrooms
1 1/2 cups grated reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan forced. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Without removing the plastic backing, thaw the pastry just enough so it is no longer solid - you will need to roll it up, so the pastry can't be too hard or too soft. Place one of the pastry sheets on a chopping board.

Combine the tomato paste and sauce in a small bowl. Spread the pastry sheet with 1 heaped tablespoon of the tomato sauce mix, leaving about 2-3 cm of the upper edge of the pastry free of sauce, and 1cm on the lower edge, as can be seen in the photo below.

Take about 1/2 cup of grated carrot and spread it evenly over the tomato sauce.

Take about 1/2 cup of the grated zucchini, squeeze out the excess liquid into a spare bowl, and then spread it over the carrot. Follow this with some of the grated mushroom.

Finish with about 1/2 cup of the grated cheddar cheese and use your hand to flatten it all down, still leaving the upper and lower edges of the pastry free from filling, as in the photo below.

Now it's time to start rolling your pastry. I use the backing paper to help me, removing it as I roll. It takes a bit of practice but it is possible!

Once the roll is complete, pinch along the edge to stick it to the wall of the roll so the whole thing doesn't come apart in the oven and spill out every where! You could also use a pastry brush to apply lightly beaten egg along the join to stick the pastry but, given the number of children with food allergies, I prefer just to pinch it together.

Using a serrated knife, cut the roll in half, cut these pieces in half again, and then once more. You should end up with 8 pieces. Place these on their sides evenly spaced on the lined baking sheet.

Repeat these steps for the second and third pieces of pastry.

Once all the pieces are placed on the baking sheet, bake in the oven for about 14 minutes or until golden and cooked.

Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before eating. Yum!!

Now, if you want to freeze them for a later date, only bake them for 11 or 12 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. When you want to reheat, remove them from your freezer and thaw to room temperature before placing in a 200°C fan forced oven for about 6 minutes or so.

Yum Yum Yum!!!

Pizza Rolls, anyone?

Sam xx

 * I like to use my homemade spicy tomato sauce

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Apple Butter Cake

One of my favourite jobs to help with in the garden is pruning the fruit trees - and that's what we did this weekend.

Yesterday we picked the last of the Lady Williams apples, stripped the remaining apple tree leaves, and pruned the branches ready for the new fruiting season.

And today, after we juiced the apples, I made Apple Butter Cake. Yum!

Apple Butter Cake

185g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cloudy apple juice
1 Red Delicious apple (I used Pink Lady)
1 tablespoon demerara sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fanforced). Grease and line a 20cm springform pan.

Beat butter, vanilla and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Gently stir through flours and apple juice in two batches until combined. Spread the mixture into cake pan.

Cut apple into quarters and remove core. Slice into very thin strips. Place apple slices in two circles around cake so that they overlap each other. Make sure that the centre is well covered. Sprinkle apples with combined demerara sugar and cinnamon.

Bake in oven for about 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out.

Serves 8

( Recipe from P41, The Weekend Australian Magazine July 23-24 2005)

Did you have a beautiful weekend?

Sam xx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Teeny Tiny Knitted Bunny

Poor Miss J. It's her turn today.

And because she is sick, and because she left her favourite toy rabbit at the big shops a few weeks ago and hasn't quite recovered from the loss, I made her one of Little Cotton Rabbit's Teen Tiny Toys.

Little Cotton Rabbit provides an excellent photo tutorial to make these little critters. It always amazes me how the smallest of changes in the placement of facial features can change the entire character of a small toy - mine has turned out to look rather portly and would definitely benefit from a more balanced head to body ratio!

But the best thing is that Miss J hasn't let go of him since I gave him to her.

And she's smiling!


Sam xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Kid on the couch

It was so cute........

Miss M, trying to keep warm on the couch, put over her the closest thing to a blanket that she could find - the unfinished hexagon blanket.
So cute, so cuddly......

It was only later this afternoon that I realised she wasn't feeling well....

and about 15 miutes ago that my poor girl had the vomits!


Monday, 16 July 2012

A little knitting WIP sneaky peek!

My Bendigo Woollen Mills order arrived. Hooray!

And may I just say how lovely this yarn is - 
Luxury 4ply

Sam xx

P.S. Flu = Bleh!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Nightmare Help

In Maxabella’s most recent post, she writes about how much trouble her 8yo son is having trying to get to sleep. He’s scared.
In recent months Miss M has been having the same difficulties. She has been telling me about her dreams/nightmares. She has been telling her teachers.  She told her classmates for her news item. But her nightmares continued.
I talked with a GP about the problem but didn’t get much joy there. It was when I spoke with Miss M’s teacher that I remembered something.
Worry People
Fifteen years ago, a member of my family died suddenly. I was devastated and went straight to a wonderful friend of mine who is a school psychologist, and she threw me into the car and took me to the Oxfam shop where she bought me a gift; “Worry People”.
The Worry People are teeny tiny dolls from South America in a teeny tiny bag.  The idea is that you tell these tiny people your worries, thereby giving the responsibility to them. You then put them back into their little bag, put it under your pillow and that allows you to go to sleep.
It worked then. Maybe it will work with Miss M?
It has,  along with some other strategies; soft gentle music* to sleep with, a new big cuddly toy to grip on to, and special bedtime stories from Nightlights books, suggested by her teacher. We have been bad dream free for two weeks now and Miss M is calmer, more settled and doesn’t mention them, except for when we change her pillow slip – we have to make sure that the Worry People are safe, after all!
And happily, we alre all sleeping soundly now. I hope you and yours are too!

Sam xx

What are some of the things you have done to help with your child’s night time fears?

 * Mostly Enya - not my personal fave but it works for Miss M!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Miss M makes

It was decided. "The Dolly With The Big Bosom" did not have enough night-time attire and this situation was in dire need of a solution!

So a determined Miss M copied one of Dolly's dresses to make a pattern, pinned the templates onto the chosen fabric, and cut out the nightie fabric pieces.

She then gave it to me to sew. An honour!

And to conclude, a fashion parade - Of course!

Ooh la la!!

Sam xx

What are you doing with your children during these school holidays?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Party Bag?

Treasure Hunt!
The girls and I went to a 5th Birthday party on Saturday. It had all the usual birthday attractions for the girls; lots of kids to play with, party games (in particular, a brilliant treasure hunt around the property), the sugar minefield that is the party food table, and the birthday cake, of course!

And to finish it all off, they got to take home a party bag.

The only trouble is, Miss E also brought home a party bug - a nice vomity one!

That's not quite what I had in mind for the start to the school holidays!!

Sam xx

Thursday, 5 July 2012

My Creative Space - Olearia Cardigan Ta-dah!!

Miss E's cardi is finished!

Pattern :: Olearia cardigan version 2 by Georgie Hallam aka Tikki on ravelry
Size :: 3
Yarn:: Tosh DK Oceana, approximately 320m - so very soft!
Needles :: 3.75mm and 4mm

And I like this Tikkis' pattern so much, I am checking out her others for future reference.

However, my next planned project will be a birthday gift but, given that the person to be on the receiving end reads this blog*, I can't give any details as yet. Rest assured, I have already chosen the pattern and ordered the wool, even before I had completed the cardi - as I usually do! I get so excited about the next project that I sometimes have trouble finishing the first one!!

In the meantime, while I wait for the new wool to arrive, I have picked up the Hexagon Blanket again, crocheting while watching the 'Fast Bikes'.... er.... Tour de France. As if I'm not already sleep deprived......

More Creative Spaces here.

Sam xx

*thereby narrowing the recipient possibilities considerably!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Memorable Mothering Moment #729..... the delicate balancing act that is helping a child do an emergency number 2 at the park – although, what makes this particular incident memorable is not the act itself, but what happened to the car keys that were sharing my pocket with the tissue I was rummaging around for.....

What to do? One hand was stopping the crouching child from over-balancing, the other hand was still in the aforementioned pocket, and my line of sight was focused squarely on the keys....
...wondering how on earth I was going to get out of this one??*

Sam xx
*Leaves! Leaves, plastic bags and LOTS of hand sanitiser. And a fair bit of hysterical laughter!!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

One of the best things about my life is that I get to watch my daughters grow up and be with them as they experience many firsts.

If they let you!

Miss M went to her first disco on Friday night, put on by her school and suitably age appropriate; it ran from 5.30 to 7pm. Very civilised! Preparations for the event were wonderfully painless; no fashion parades, no hair consultations, only "I want to look pretty". Right! We can do that! Bring out the flashing necklace!!

But when it came to who was to be her chaperone, me or her father, I was dumped!!

And so, with an inner silent sob of sadness, I bid her farewell as she left for the

Her baby days are well and truly behind her. *sob*

Sam xx

By the way, the disco was a great success with lots of excitement and energy, according to G. *grumble*

I can remember my first disco when I was in Year 8 - lots of Kim Wilde and Duran Duran. Can you remember yours?